Orchids: The World’s Most Beautiful Liars?

Posted on October 26, 2016 by Samantha Burns

There’s a lot more going on with the orchids than we may believe…

These beautiful plants may seem harmless enough, but their remarkable diversity may be the result of some rather cunning evolutionary tactics.

Case in point, the Dracula Orchid:

Image: Dragula orchid Black with teeth-like parts
Source: Eric Hunt // Wikimedia

“Cunning” was never a word that popped into my head upon seeing an orchid, but since learning a little bit more about orchid evolution and the unique ways they thrive and survive, it’s now the first word that comes to mind.

There’s just so much going on under those gorgeous petals! Our friends at MinuteEarth can explain the orchid’s way of life a little better than I can, and they have made a short (and very cool!) video to do just that!

Who knew that the expensive plant you bought for Mother’s Day was actually so complex!

I mean, it has a relative that looks like a bee. That’s some incredible evolution at work!

I’ve never related so strongly to a plant.

Image: Orchid that looks like a monkey
Source: David Evans // Flickr

The Orchid family has over 25,000 species living all over the world, finding unique niches in their environments to call home. They come in a vast array of sizes, shapes and colors and every single one of them is beautiful.

The photograph here is of an extraordinary variety called the Monkey Orchid.

As I sat there learning about the orchid family all I could think of was how similar they are to us. We’re a species that has spread throughout the world, adapting our behaviors to suit the environment we’re in, often using our own cunning to further our species. Not to mention, we also tend to use our appearance and smell to attract someone and spread our genes. We come in different sizes, shapes, and colors and every single one of us is beautiful.

We’re just a small part of the world.

Our diversity, much like the orchid’s, is what adds complexity and richness to our species.

We’re all doing the same thing here, trying to survive in the best way possible. So, be kind to one another, be thoughtful, and make sure you smile!

If you need some help coming up with nice things to do, check out our article “The Power of Kindness” to find some simple things you can do to brighten up someone’s day!

Image: White orchids open
Source: valeriafcorrea // Pixabay

Maybe you could buy them an orchid and tell them all about these remarkable plants!  It’s a win-win for you — bringing kindness and knowledge to the world. Just a thought!

Until then, go outside and find the beauty that surrounds you and remember, it’s still an amazing world out there!

~ Sam

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